Question: Will anyone read an architecture / cycling / global warming / peak oil / housing bubble bursting blog? Answer: Don't care, therapy is therapy. Looks like it's gonna be a long hard slog, uphill, into the gale, with rusty gears and a bad attitude.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Here's Your Change
At a press conference today, Ed Henry asked President Obama why it took him a few days to respond to the AIG bonus scandal. Answer: "It took me a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I say something."
From Newsweek comes the story of the Cook County Sheriff, Thomas Dart, who has stopped foreclosures...
"Until you're physically out there, you can't really get the magnitude of what you're actually up to. It sounds like it's an antiseptic process, and it's anything but that. In the majority of the homes I was going into, there were always little kids around—I mean, really young kids, and we're taking them and putting them out on the street. A lot of them were seniors, and a lot of them had issues with dementia. Once again—we're taking them out to the street … Most of these neighborhoods are not good neighborhoods. Once [their belongings are] out on the street, we leave. While they're off looking for transportation, the few things they own are being stolen."
What is the most energy-efficient form of human transportation?
Would you believe me if I said bicycling?
In terms of calories expended over any distance traveled, yes, it turns out that riding a bicycle is as good as it gets.
Of all the common modes of transport, taking a bus is second best. Walking and taking a train, Amtrak, come in third and fourth. Flying and riding a motorcycle come in a distant fifth and sixth.
Riding your bicycle 350 miles at 15 mph -- as has been calculated and tabulated for you by the fine folks at Good Magazine -- requires the equivalent of 16 Whoppers with cheese, or 12,300 calories of energy. Plus, your health will improve dramatically. Never mind that it'll take you 23 hours and 20 minutes to get there. You're not in that big of a hurry, are you?
How about those other modes of travel? Well... walking takes three times as many Whoppers with cheese as bicycling, 36,960 calories, and over four times as much time -- 100 hours!
Please, you say. I'm a civilized human being. Give me motorized transport.
To start, you need to know that one gallon of gasoline contains 31,000 calories. So that bus ride requires about 36,000 calories and 5:50 to get you 350 miles. Not bad at all. Amtrak requires 70,000 calories of energy and 4:22 of time. Still not too bad. Your average sedan? A whopping 403,000 calories and 5:50! Well then, you smile back, what about the new hybrid technology? Nope, 248,000 calories and 5:50.
Finally, trust me when I say: Don't even ask about that SUV in your driveway...
If we EVER hope to cut down on our dependence on fossil fuels, we'll either need to INVENT/DISCOVER another fuel source as packed with caloric goodness as long-chain hydrocarbons... or re-learn to ride our bikes, be a bit more patient, and learn to love Whoppers!
I try to work as little as possible, but when I do, I bill at $75 an hour. I'm worth more, but illegal immigrants are holding down wages. And yeah, that's a picture of me... only I'm taller and younger. You want to believe me, don't you?